One song provokes a slow wave from the packed Pepsi Max Stage crowd, that if seen with fingers in ears, could quite easily have been a ballad. Another provokes a conga snaking in front of the stage, and line dancing metallers at the back. But nobody is here for Black Lace, ushering a ‘train across the floor’. Not quite. They are here for Lawnmower Deth. And not forgetting a few guest stars: a janitor ‘Mr Smelly Mop’ protecting himself with his mop and bucket, from man in drag, ‘Cobwoman of Deth’s Nerf rocket launcher, alongside a ‘sumo rabbit’ on a space hopper. Of course.
Lawnmower Deth present Download Festival with the greatest fusion of thrash metal and dicking about of the whole weekend.
Megadeth aside, a band at a metal festival who forgot to check ‘death’ in the dictionary, aren’t to be taken seriously. Considering the hilarious chaos during their set, it shows that Lawnmower Deth fancy being taken with strangely delicious buckets of salt, with any criticism left at the tent’s doors. Frontman Pete Lee, or apparently the last band that anybody is entitled to enjoy, make this clear as if they haven’t made it clear enough already: “If there are any Kerrang readers here, then you’re in the wrong fucking tent”. It almost seems a crime to give them a score now.*
Lawnmower Deth are granted extra stage time due the no show of following act Upon a Burning Body, and so a backdrop with their signature green robot grins gets twice the exposure, though the visual majesty wasn’t given twice the budget, throwing three logo-branded beachballs and a single balloon into the crowd (which surprisingly survived the performance). That said, this is more balloons than any other band at Download Festival chuck into the crowd as of yet**.
This is a band with a ridiculous enough reputation that they can offer longer or shorter songs, to an audience, and however much they are enjoying themselves, call for the microtracks, such as the twenty-second ‘Drink to Be Sick’ and the ten-second ‘Ooh Crikey’, tiny enough that it was played twice. And to think that Jared of Bowling For Soup, had named their epic by comparison, ninety-second ‘The Last Rock Show’ as “the shortest song you’ll hear at Download Festival”.
Lawnmower Deth, on their fourth appearance are cemented into Download Festival folklore as promoter Andy Copping was ushered to the stage, who delivered a much deserved, worshipping bow (as far as the crowd are concerned), to today’s stars of the ‘third’ stage.
* EDIT: Funnily enough, Kerrang chose to ignore the band entirely in their definitive band-by-band review. I wonder why…
** EDIT: This makes me laugh in retrospect, as this remained the case. While Aerosmith showered us all with confetti, and Avenged Sevenfold with waves of heat, Lawnmower Deth delivered all of the weekend’s balloons.